© 2017

The Death Café Movement

Exploring the Horizons of Mortality


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Jack Fong
    Pages 1-34
  3. Jack Fong
    Pages 35-52
  4. Jack Fong
    Pages 87-169
  5. Jack Fong
    Pages 201-226
  6. Jack Fong
    Pages 227-261
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 263-284

About this book


This sociological work examines the phenomenon of the Death Café, a regular gathering of strangers from all walks of life who engage in “death talk” over coffee, tea, and desserts. Using insightful theoretical frameworks, Fong explores the common themes that constitute a “death identity” and reveals how Café attendees are inspired to live in light of death because of death. Fong examines how the participants’ embrace of self-sovereignty and confrontation of mortality revive their awareness of and appreciation for shared humanity. While divisive identity politics continue to foster neo-tribalisms and the construction of myriad “others,”  Fong makes visible how those who participate in Death Cafés end up building community while being inspired toward living more fulfilling lives. Through death talk unfettered from systemic control, they end up feeling more agency over their own lived lives as well as being more conscious of the possibility of a  good death. According to Fong, participants in this phenomenon offer us a sublime way to confront the facticity of our own demise—by gathering as one.


Dying death talk quality of life Bernard Crettaz imagery of death “good death” Jürgen Habermas Erich Fromm Kurt Wolff Ray Oldenburg Decolonizing the Lifeworld mortality

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Associate Professor of SociologyDepartment of Psychology & Sociology California State Polytechnic UniversityPomona CAUSA

About the authors

Jack Fong is Associate Professor of Sociology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, USA. 

Bibliographic information


“This is an interesting book, offering a theoretical approach to the death café movement that requires further exploration.” (Glenys Caswell, Mortality, Vol. 24 (3), 2019)